Friday, March 22, 2013
Motoring groups give 2013 Budget a mixed reaction
Chancellor George Osborne revealed a number of measures which will affect the cost of owning and running a car, including a proposed freeze in fuel duty rises later this year, which have met with a mixed reaction from motoring organisations.
The fuel duty freeze got a particularly warm welcome, with Professor Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation, saying: “This news provides breathing space for families being smothered by the soaring costs of motoring, especially the 800,000 households spending more than a quarter of their income on operating a vehicle.
"Through this move, the chancellor will lose about £1bn a year in duty and VAT income, but tens of thousands of people will be saved from being forced to give up their cars against a backdrop of generally rising running costs.
"Freezing fuel duty does nothing to help the millions who rely on public transport. Bus services are seeing year-on-year cuts and government is still committed to above-inflation rail fares rises."
The chancellor, George Osborne, said: "We inherited a fuel duty escalator that would have seen above inflation increases in every year of this Parliament. We abolished the escalator and now we’ve now frozen fuel duty for two years. This has not been easy. The Government has foregone £6billion in revenues to date."
However, AA president Edmund King described the move as "relief, rather than joy" for drivers, while other transport groups were less supportive of the measures.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Freezing fuel duty does nothing to help the millions who rely on public transport.
"Bus services are seeing year-on-year cuts and government is still committed to above-inflation rail fares rises."
Nissan, meanwhile, publicly expressed delight that Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax levels - such as its LEAF model - will now be set at 5%, rather than 13% as previously.
A spokesperson for the firm said: "The Budget announcement means that by keeping BIK rates for company EV drivers at the lowest rate, more will look to choose an EV like the LEAF as their next company car.
"This should increase EV sales, at the same time as helping bring down emission levels which is a priority both for companies meeting their corporate CSR objectives and for cities such as London to meet future EU emission targets."
Do you think the 2013 Budget has helped or hindered motorists? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below...